Petter Northug revs up Sochi preparations with Tour de Ski stage win; Martin Sundby keeps lead - InfoNews

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Petter Northug revs up Sochi preparations with Tour de Ski stage win; Martin Sundby keeps lead

Petter Jr. Northug of Norway, center, celebrates his first place with his fellow countrymen Martin Johnsrud Sundby, left, second placed and overall leader, and Chris Jespersen, third placed, at the finish line of the men's 10-kilometer classical race at the cross country Tour de Ski competition, in Val di Fiemme, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)
January 04, 2014 - 7:31 AM

VAL DI FIEMME, Italy - Petter Northug revved up his preparations for next month's Sochi Olympics by winning the penultimate stage of the Tour de Ski on Saturday, cutting into the overall lead of fellow Norwegian Martin Johnsrud Sundby.

Northug clocked 24 minutes, 45.6 seconds over the 10-kilometre classical stage. Sundby crossed second, 9.7 seconds behind, and Chris Jespersen, yet another Norwegian, was third.

Alex Harvey of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., was the top Canadian in fifth.

Sundby's lead over Northug was reduced to 48.5 seconds, with Jespersen 1:26.8 behind entering Sunday's seventh and final stage, the grueling climb up Mount Cermis.

The top American is Noah Hoffman in 31st.

Northug won the 15K classical title at last year's world championships in Val di Fiemme and also took gold in the 50K at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

A women's 5K classical race was being held later.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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